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Is there any provision in law that prohibits politicians from holding government posts? asks Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court has today deferred the hearing in a PIL (public interest litigation)filed for removal of the members of political parties who are holding various government posts.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad have adjourned the case while instructing the petitioner for doing more extensive research on the matter, before it s heard again .

The Court has remarked that the petitioners should do some more research.

The Court further said there are several better issues for filing a PIL. People not getting treatment, people not getting jobs,and those should be focused.

The bench has also asked the petitioner whether there exists any provision in law that prohibits politicians from holding such posts.

The Court has however listed the plea for further consideration on January 17, 2023.

The petitioner Sonali Tiwary was represented by Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose.

The petitioner has given example of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra, who is also holding the post of the chairman of India Tourism Department Corporation, another example given was of BJP Parliamentary Board member Iqbal Singh Lalpura, who also is the chairperson of the National Minorities Commission.

The petitioner said that people who occupy such venerated offices are expected to maintain neutrality and remain impartial but holding any kind of official position within a political party negates this very purpose.

The plea also gives reference of the appointment of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Jasmine Shah as the vice-chairman of the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi and Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee along with member Dr Chandrabhan Singh’s who has been appointed as the vice-chairman of the 20-point programme implementation and coordination committee in the state.

The plea talks about how the above mentioned people have been actively involved in political activities while holding the government posts….

The plea further talks about how these people being public servants as defined in the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 have failed to perform the public duty, and ultimately lead to exploitation of public resources.

The plea filed through says it is submitted that such actions of the public servants will erode the trust of the public in the public functionaries as public servants need to showcase a certain sense of neutrality in their actions and not act as mouthpieces of political parties.

It further points out that the political affiliation of a public servant would result in rampant misuse of a public office for the political gains .

The petition lists the Centre, the Delhi government, the state of Rajasthan and the four political leaders as parties.

The plea has demanded that the government should enforce the principle of political neutrality of public servants which would in turn prohibits them from taking part in political activities as non-conformance to the principle is causing huge losses to the public exchequer and propagating the beliefs of the political parties.

The petition further submits that such people often fail their duty as a public servants which has been defined in Section 21 (12) (a) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Section 2 (c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988,” the petition said.

The plea also stated that such people draw salary and allowances from tax payers’ money which causes loss to exchequer by their partisan activities.

The petition says that while enjoying the pay, allowances and perks of a public servant from the taxpayers money, the partisan activities will cause huge loss to the public exchequer due to the partisan decisions of the public servants.

CASE NAME:Sonali Tiwary v Union of India and Ors

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